Republic Day is an important Indian holiday that celebrates when the Constitution of India took over from the British facilitated Government of India Act 1935. Although this may seem like a hard concept to get your head around – it is essentially the first constitution enacted by India as an independent country after British colonial rule. Prior to the instatement of this constitution India became an independent nation three years earlier; abolishing their ties to Britain as a part of the British Commonwealth. Republic Day is not exactly a celebration of Indian independence. Rather, it is a celebration of the first steps taken by India to implement their own constitution after British colonial rule.
The main celebration central to Republic Day is that of a massive parade that is held in New Delhi. The parade consists of Indian military personnel from the Army, Navy and Air Force. Military personal wear their decorative uniforms for the occasion. Many other states hold celebrations in their capitals, but they are secondary to the main parade that is held in New Delhi. Republic Day includes a representative guest in the form of a head of state or government. Notable guests in the past have included Prime Minister Jacques Chirac (France), President Nelson Mandela (South Africa) and President Vladimir Putin (Russia).
Candy is also distributed among school children and cultural education relevant to what Republic Day represents is taught. Because of India’s sheer number of people and diverse range of religions – India’s move to a democratic form of government has been no small task. Republic Day is one method of celebrating this implementation of democracy and it is often touted as the largest democracy in the world. Republic Day is a source of pride for all Indians as it celebrates their democratic heritage after the hardships imposed under British colonial rule. For a country to emerge as strong as it has after a troubling period of time is nothing short of inspiring.
Republic Day is one of three government sanctioned national public holidays. The other two are Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanti. Independence Day celebrates the day that India became independent of the British colonisation regime. Gandhi Jayanti celebrates Gandhi’s birthday (who was instrumental in bringing an end to British colonisation in India). Republic Day can be considered more important than either of these days because it was the last step required in order to implement a democratic constitution in India – from this point modern India was established.